May 6, 2008 / 11:03 AM / 10 years ago

CHRONOLOGY: 60 turbulent years of Israel

(Reuters) - Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary on Thursday, according to the Jewish calendar.

Following is a chronology of its turbulent history:

May 14, 1948 - David Ben-Gurion proclaims the State of Israel hours before the British Mandate is due to end. On May 15, forces from five Arab countries attack Israel.

1949 - Armistices with Arab states but no formal peace.

October 29, 1956 - Israel invades Gaza Strip and Sinai in conjunction with Suez Canal campaign launched by Britain and France against Egypt. Israeli forces withdraw in March 1957.

June 1, 1962 - Adolf Eichmann, an architect of Nazi Holocaust kidnapped by Israeli agents in Argentina, hanged in Israel after being convicted of crimes against humanity.

June 5, 1967 - Israel launches pre-emptive strikes against Egypt and Syria after what it sees as aggressive moves by Egypt. Six Day War leaves it occupying West Bank, including Arab East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Sinai and Golan Heights.

September 5, 1972 - Palestinians kill 11 Israeli athletes at Munich Olympics. Israel later kills guerrilla leaders it blames.

October 6, 1973 - Egypt and Syria attack along Suez Canal and Golan Heights. After initial reverses in Yom Kippur War, Israel pushes both armies back within three weeks.

February 1974 - Gush Emunim, religious Zionist group backing Jewish settlement expansion in occupied territories, founded.

July 4, 1976 - Israeli commandos rescue 98 Israeli and Jewish hostages in Entebbe, Uganda, after Palestinian and German guerrillas had hijacked an Air France airliner.

May 17, 1977 - Menachem Begin’s right-wing Likud party wins national elections, ending 29 years of Labour party dominance.

November 19, 1977 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat makes landmark visit to Israel, breaking 30 years of hostility.

March 14, 1978 - Israeli forces cross into south Lebanon to fight Palestinian guerrillas. Israel later withdraws.

September 17, 1978 - Begin and Sadat sign Camp David accords brokered by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

March 26, 1979 - Begin and Sadat sign peace treaty at the White House, the first between Israel and an Arab country.

June 7, 1981 - Israeli air force destroys Iraq’s nuclear reactor site, thwarting Saddam Hussein’s hopes of an atom bomb.

April 25, 1982 - Israel hands back Sinai to Egypt.

June 6, 1982 - Israel invades Lebanon. PLO withdraws its forces from Lebanon in August. Three years later, Israel pulls its troops back to “security zone” in south Lebanon.

September 16-18, 1982 - Hundreds of civilians in Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut killed by Lebanese Christian militiamen who were allowed in by Israeli troops.

December 1987 - Palestinian uprising, or Intifada, breaks out in West Bank and Gaza. About 1,500 Palestinians and 400 Israelis killed in conflict over following six years.

January 1991 - Iraq fires 39 Scud missiles at Israel after U.S.-led forces launch Gulf War to oust Iraq from Kuwait.

1991 - Massive immigration begins of Jews from the Soviet Union. Some 700,000 arrive in Israel as Communism collapse.

October 30, 1991 - Under U.S. and Soviet auspices, Middle East peace conference convenes in Madrid.

September 13, 1993 - At the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat shake hands on limited Palestinian self-rule under Oslo Accords.

October 26, 1994 - Israel signs peace treaty with Jordan.

September 28, 1995 - In Washington, Rabin and Arafat sign Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement.

November 4, 1995 - Rabin shot dead by Jewish ultranationalist Yigal Amir. Labour ally Shimon Peres becomes prime minister.

May 29, 1996 - Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu elected premier after wave of Palestinian suicide bombings in Israel.

January 10, 2000 - Talks on returning Golan Heights to Syria collapse over narrow strip of land by the Sea of Galilee.

May. 24, 2000 - Israeli troops leave south Lebanon.

July 25, 2000 - Breakdown of Camp David summit for Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

September 28, 2000 - Palestinian uprising begins after Likud leader Ariel Sharon visits Muslim holy site in Jerusalem.

February 6, 2001 - Sharon beats Labour’s Barak in election.

March 27, 2002 - Suicide bomber kills 30 people at Passover meal in Netanya. Israeli forces enter West Bank cities March 29.

April 30, 2003 - Peace “road map” drafted by Quartet -- United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia.

November 11, 2004 - Arafat dies. Mahmoud Abbas leads PLO.

February 8, 2005 - Sharon and Abbas declare ceasefire.

August 22, 2005 - Israel completes pullout of troops and settlers from Gaza Strip after 38 years of occupation.

January 4, 2006 - Sharon suffers major stroke and Ehud Olmert succeeds the comatose leader, later winning elections.

January 25, 2006 - Hamas wins Palestinian parliamentary election and rejects Abbas’s peace accords with Israel.

July-Aug 2006 - At least 1,100 people in Lebanon and 157 Israelis die in 34 days of fighting that erupts after Hezbollah captures two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid.

June 14, 2007 - Hamas routs Abbas’s forces in Gaza. Abbas, in the West Bank, dismisses Hamas-led unity government. West, Israel ease sanctions on West Bank, tighten them on Gaza.

November 27, 2007 - Conference at Annapolis, Maryland relaunches talks that aim to reach deal on Palestinian state by end-2008.

March 1, 2008 - On bloodiest day for decades, Israeli troops kill 61 Palestinians in Gaza. Israel says responding to rocket fire. Over 120 Palestinians and 3 Israelis killed in six days.

May 14, 2008 - U.S. President George W. Bush to visit Israel to mark 60th anniversary of Ben-Gurion’s declaration of state.

Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;

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